• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Jackets fall short at Western Hills, 55-42

The Woodford County High School football team lost 55-42 in a wild one at Western Hills. The game was delayed 90 minutes due to lightning and got underway shortly after 9 p.m. on a rain-soaked field. The game was tied at the end of the first quarter, but a pair of turnovers early in the second quarter allowed the Wolverines to take a commanding lead that the Jackets were unable to overcome. The Wolverines opened the game with a 65-yard touchdown drive highlighted by a 5-yard touchdown run by senior Wandale Robinson. WCHS junior Amartae Rice put on a show during the Jackets' first drive. Rice broke five tackles in a pair of runs that pushed the Jackets into Wolverine territory. Next, he caught a pass from WCHS senior quarterback Leo Guadagni and was tackled at the four-yard line before scoring on a touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7. Western Hills quickly regained the lead on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Robinson to senior Logan Bell to bring the score to 14-7. The Jackets tied the game on a 30-yard quarterback keeper by Guadagni to end the first quarter. The Wolverines scored on a 60-yard touchdown reception by Robinson to regain the lead 20-14. WCHS junior Skyelar Johnson blocked the extra-point attempt. WCHS sophomore J.D. Alexander returned the Wolverines’ kickoff to the Western Hills' 16-yard line. Guadagni scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to give Woodford a 21-20 lead after WCHS sophomore Joey Whitehead's extra point kick. The Jackets' defense appeared to have Robinson caught in the backfield on third-and-long, but the superstar running back broke free and ran 45 yards for a touchdown. The Wolverines scored on a two-point conversion to regain the lead 28-21 with six minutes remaining in the half. The Jackets were on the move again when WCHS senior Brennan Clark fumbled the ball inside Wolverine territory. Bell ran the ball 45 yards to the Jackets' two-yard line, and Robinson punched it in for the score. After the extra point, the Wolverines led 35-21 late in the half. Rice broke a pair of big runs for the Jackets to begin the next drive. After a colossal collision with Robinson, Rice temporarily left the game with an apparent leg injury. On the next play, Guadagni fumbled on the Wolverines’ 33-yard line and Western Hills recovered. With the Wolverines threatening again, WCHS senior Ben Nash made a terrific one-handed interception deep downfield and returned it to the WCHS 45-yard line. Guadagni was intercepted two plays later, and the Wolverines regained possession inside the Jackets' 20-yard line with less than a minute to play in the half. Bell scored on a touchdown reception to make the score 42-21. The Jackets made a furious drive down the field with 30 seconds left in the half. Guadagni completed passes to Johnson and Nash to get the Jackets inside the Wolverine 20-yard line. With time running out in the half, a penalty was called on the Wolverines to give the Jackets one untimed play before halftime. Rice was stopped just short of the goal line to make the score 42-21 at halftime. WCHS sophomore Coy Hayes broke a 25-yard run to open the second half. Guadagni scored on a 25-yard run on a fantastic block by WCHS junior Sidney Mudd around the five-yard line. After the extra point, the Jackets cut the lead to 42-28. After a Wolverines punt, The Jackets were on the move again until Guadagni was intercepted by Robinson who returned the pick to the WCHS 35-yard line. The Jackets forced a fumble by Western Hills late in the third quarter. Guadagni scored a touchdown on a 19-yard scramble to cut the Jackets' deficit to 42-34. Robinson scored again on a 38-yard touchdown to increase the Wolverines' lead to 49-34. Robinson scored his seventh touchdown of the game on the next drive to increase the Wolverine lead to 55-34. WCHS freshman Bryce Patterson entered the game midway through the fourth quarter. The youngster threw a dart to Mudd for an 18-yard touchdown. After a two-point conversion, the Jackets cut its deficit to 55-42. After a failed onside kick attempt, the Wolverines ran out the clock.

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